Financial Education News & Events


::September Edition of Your Bottom Line Now Available::


The Oklahoma College Assistance Program presents the September edition of Your Bottom Line, a monthly newsletter produced with personal finance organizations, educators and consumers in mind. Read the current edition.

::Meet the New OKMM Team Members!::


Oklahoma Money Matters is excited to introduce its two new Outreach Specialists, Sara Lorenzen and Rae Scott-Pettit. Sara and Rae bring new energy and a fresh perspective to OKMM, and we believe you'll enjoy working alongside them in your financial education efforts.

Sara Lorenzen

Sara Lorenzen Headshot.Sara Lorenzen came to OKMM from the nonprofit sector with more than 10 years of experience in public relations, communications, outreach and client relationship management. She earned a bachelor's of arts in public relations and master's of education in adult education from the University of Central Oklahoma. As one of OKMM’s outreach specialists, Sara provides financial literacy education for high school and college students, adult learners on college campuses, workforce and TANF programs and community partners, as well as workplace education.






Rae Scott-Pettit

Rae Scott-Pettit headshot.Rae Scott-Pettit joined the OKMM team after completing 15 years of service in the federal government and teaching Spanish language and cultures to middle school students in Texas. Rae is passionate about advocating for various underrepresented groups, especially those with disabilities. She’s volunteered her time with the Developmental Disabilities Council of Oklahoma and is a graduate of their Partners in Policymaking program. In her position with OKMM, Rae provides financial literacy education to adult learners on college campuses, workforce and TANF programs and community partners, and workplace education. She is bilingual and shares OKMM’s message with our Spanish-speaking population.






::Freshman Orientation: Financial Literacy Supports Student Success::


Pop art image of two college studentsYour new students will face a variety of challenges during their college career, including important financial decisions that could follow them for years to come. Incorporating a personal money management session into your orientation program and seminar classes can help students make smart financial choices, which can boost retention at your campus.

Oklahoma Money Matters (OKMM) is the financial literacy initiative of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the Oklahoma College Assistance Program. The OKMM team cares about your students’ success. If you’re ready to add financial education to your orientation efforts, consider partnering with OKMM.

For 15 years, OKMM has delivered quality financial education to students attending Oklahoma’s colleges and universities. We teach students about living on a college budget, the value of saving money, understanding credit, preventing identity theft and managing student loans and financial aid. Our services are free and our program allows you to choose resource options that best meet your students’ needs. Choose from customizable presentations, online learning modules, downloadable lesson plans and activities and accessible tools, including an interactive budget calculator and online resource clearinghouse.

If you would rather do the teaching yourself, we can help with that, too. OKMM offers free train-the-trainer sessions and complementary publications to empower your staff or campus leaders to convey key financial education messages.

If you’re ready to talk about how OKMM can help your students improve their money management skills, contact Kelli Kelnar at 405.234.4313 or kkelnar@ocap.org. Workshops are subject to staff availability, so schedule yours today!

 


::New Video: Tips to Avoid Identity Theft::


Oklahoma Money Matters, the financial education initiative of the Oklahoma College Assistance Program (OCAP), strives to help people take control of their money and make positive financial choices. Identity theft is a growing issue and it can take a lot of time and effort to repair the damage. It’s important to take special precautions to protect your personal information, so we created Tips to Avoid Identity Theft, a short video that explains how to guard your information from would-be thieves and what to do if you suspect your identity has already been stolen.

The video is available on OCAP’s YouTube Channel and on the Videos page at OklahomaMoneyMatters.org. Feel free to share this video or link to it from your website.

Tips to Avoid Identity Theft video thumbnail.


::The FAFSA is Here!::


The 2019–20 FAFSA is here! Here are a few tips for students.

This year students can access the FAFSA by visiting FAFSA.gov  or by using the NEW myStudentAid mobile app. The FAFSA should be completed as soon as possible after Oct. 1 to ensure priority consideration for some types of financial aid. It’s best to gather all necessary materials before starting the FAFSA. Since the 2019–20 FAFSA allows applicants to use 2017 tax information, families can use their 2017 return to complete the application right away! There's no need to wait.

To complete and submit the FAFSA online, students and one of their parents/guardians will each need to create an FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID) at FSAID.ed.gov . This username/password serves as an electronic signature on the FAFSA and certain student loan applications, and allows them to access other federal student aid websites. It’s beneficial for families to create their FSA IDs before starting the FAFSA to speed up the application process. Visit UCanGo2.org to download an FSA ID Worksheet (in English and Spanish) to keep track of your information.

For more information and FAFSA resources, including educational tools and tutorial videos in English and Spanish, visit StartWithFAFSA.org.


::Understanding Your Credit Score: a lesson plan for adult learners::


Thumbnail of Understanding Your Credit Score lesson plan and corresponding guide.Oklahoma Money Matters (OKMM), the financial literacy initiative of the Oklahoma College Assistance Program and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, is proud to announce the newest addition to our financial education library, Understanding Your Credit Score, a lesson plan for adult learners. 

Understanding Your Credit Score was carefully crafted with the economically vulnerable learner in mind and is divided into five sections to allow for more flexible utilization. Each section concludes with an application exercise and bonus material that complements the lesson. Participants will explore the factors that make up a credit score, learn how to access and review their credit reports, discover strategies for reducing debt, and learn the importance of making wise financial decisions that can help them reach their financial goals.

Both the Understanding Your Credit Score lesson plan and its corresponding Your Money Matters: Your Money, Your Way guide can be downloaded for FREE of charge from the resources page of OKMM’s website.

OKMM also offers free workshops that highlight practical ways for adults to manage their money, even if they’ve reached a financial crisis point. Workshops are customizable and include topics such as:

  • Establishing an effective budget
  • Managing credit
  • Preventing identity theft
  • Saving for expenses and emergencies
  • Paying for continuing education and navigating the financial aid process

If you would like to schedule a workshop, request materials, or learn how OKMM can help you incorporate personal finance education within your existing service structure, please email OklahomaMoneyMatters@ocap.org or contact us at 405.234.4415 or 800.970.OKMM (toll-free).


::Ready Set Repay Offers New Videos::

Ready Set Repay, the default prevention initiative of the Oklahoma College Assistance Program (OCAP), strives to help student loan borrowers make smart borrowing decisions and successfully repay their student loans. We receive a lot of questions about paying for school and repaying student loans, so we've developed and updated videos answering some of our most frequently asked questions:

These short videos outline specific steps to address these common issues. The videos are available on OCAP’s YouTube Channel  and on the Videos page  at ReadySetRepay.org. Feel free to share these videos or link to them from your website.


::Oklahoma Money Matters Offers New Video: What Factors Determine Your Credit Score?::

Oklahoma Money Matters, the financial education initiative of the Oklahoma College Assistance Program (OCAP), strives to help people take control of their money and make positive financial choices. Learning to manage credit is a crucial piece of the personal finance puzzle, so we created What Factors Determine Your Credit Score?, a short video that explains the six basic categories that factor into your credit score and simple steps you can take to maintain a positive credit history.

The video is available on OCAP’s YouTube Channel and on the Videos page at OklahomaMoneyMatters.org. Feel free to share this video or link to it from your website. 

Credit Factors video thumbnail

 

::OCAP’s Partnership with Student Connections is an Investment in Student Success::

The Oklahoma College Assistance Program (OCAP) recognizes the impact default prevention has on the mutual success of institutions and borrowers. Helping schools excel in this area is what led Mary Heid, OCAP’s executive director, to work with Student Connections, a nonprofit affiliate of USA Funds focused on enhancing student success in college and career. Under Heid’s leadership, OCAP forged an arrangement with Student Connections to provide default rate management support to 26 Oklahoma campuses with CDRs (cohort default rates) above 10 percent. The agreement provides the schools with the ability to offer comprehensive grace period and default prevention counseling to their borrowers.

Since OCAP began working with Student Connections, it has seen marked improvements in beneficiary school CDRs. “Our schools all seem extremely happy with the service we’ve been able to offer them through Student Connections,” said Heid. “Our state CDR rate has been declining at a greater pace than the national rate, which makes us feel really good that our service is working.”

Student Connections grace counseling informs borrowers of all options, which may include a return to school. In all cases, the objective is to determine the course of action best for the borrower’s individual circumstances. Since the OCAP partnership with Student Connections began, students who underwent grace counseling were more than 40 percent less likely to enter delinquency on their student loans.

Whether it’s measured in reduced default and delinquency rates or in the hundreds of millions of cured federal loan dollars, it’s clear the OCAP-Student Connections partnership has helped preserve the value proposition of higher education in Oklahoma. As Heid says, “I think this investment in our students and institutions is rather unique, and we are very pleased that we’ve been able to do that with an industry partner that shares our vision of student success.”

Read more about the Student Connections-OCAP partnership at the Student Connections website.